A crowd full of happy graduates.

Accelerated master’s degree programs offer undergraduate college students a unique opportunity to earn credits toward a master’s degree while completing their bachelor’s degree. Accelerated degrees are commonly called “4+1 degrees,” which refers to 4 years to complete a bachelor’s degree online and 1 year to complete a master’s degree (instead of the normal 2 years).

An accelerated bachelor’s-to-master’s-degree program has the same number of required credits as a regular bachelor’s degree and master’s program. The difference comes from being able to complete several of your master’s degree courses while you are still completing your undergraduate courses.

Some sectors in the workforce are increasingly requiring a master’s degree, such as nursing and psychology. In order to learn the skills and get the credentials needed to compete in the job market, getting your master’s degree while a bachelor’s student will give you an advantage over others while saving time and money. For example, if you choose the Accelerate Into Master’s (AIM) option for your online BS in Psychology degree and MS in Forensic Psychology degree at Walden University you can add up to five of the following graduate courses as electives to your undergraduate curriculum:

  • FPSY 5101 Introduction to Forensic Psychology
  • FPSY 5115 Understanding Forensic Psychology Research
  • FPSY 5125 Assessment in Forensic Psychology Settings
  • FPSY 5135 Criminal Behavior
  • FPSY 5145 Ethical Issues and Professional Responsibilities in Forensic Psychology
  • FPSY 5720 Abnormal Behavior

Learn More About Walden's AIM Program

Benefits of Accelerated Master’s Degree Programs

  • Earn your master’s degree online in half the time.
  • Save approximately $5,000 to $12,000 (depending on program and concentration).
  • Maintain continuity with consistent university faculty and resources.
  • Enter the workforce a year earlier with a master’s degree.
  • Gain a competitive edge over bachelor’s degree job candidates.
  • Increase your earning potential faster. In 2012, the median earnings for young adults with a master's degree or higher was $59,600, which is 27% more than the median earnings with a bachelor's degree.*

Are You Eligible for AIM?

The accelerated online master’s degree program is not for everyone, so you must meet certain criteria to qualify:

  • Maintain an overall GPA in your bachelor’s degree program equal to the GPA required for admission to the associated master’s degree program
  • Have completed a minimum of 90 credits and any specific core requirements associated with your bachelor’s program as well as any additional prerequisites of your specific master’s degree program
  • Have no “incomplete” grades
  • Be in good financial standing
  • Achieve a grade of B or better in your graduate courses to earn credit toward your master’s

Walden’s Accelerated Master’s Degree Programs

Seventeen online master’s programs participate in Walden’s popular Accelerate Into Master’s (AIM) degree acceleration program:

  • MS in Addiction Counseling
  • MS in Criminal Justice
  • MS in Criminal Justice Leadership and Executive Management
  • MS in Early Childhood Studies
  • MS in Emergency Management
  • MS in Forensic Psychology
  • MS in Health Education and Promotion
  • MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • MS in Instructional Design and Technology
  • MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership
  • MS in Nursing
  • MS in Psychology
  • Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Master of Healthcare Administration
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Public Policy

Start Your Future Faster!

Get started by choosing one of Walden University’s 17 master’s programs eligible for AIM. Then visit Walden’s Center for Degree Acceleration and find out if you qualify for additional transferable credits for your work, military, and life experiences that could accelerate your bachelor’s degree. Discover how many ways Walden can help you save time and money while you prepare for a successful future!

Walden University, an accredited institution with online college degree programs, has been serving the higher education needs of adult learners for 45 years. Today, more than 47,800 students from all 50 U.S. states and more than 150 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees or certificates at Walden.

Explore Walden University's online accelerated bachelor's-to-master’s-degree programs and change your future faster! Earn your college degrees at a pace that fits your life and schedule.


*National Center for Education Statistics, “Annual Earnings for Young Adults,” on the Internet at https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cba.asp (viewed online June 11, 2015).

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